Saturday, April 18, 2009

2009.15:4: Talk about someone who is/was an adversary or enemy that you respect and/or admire/ RotM

How do you thank someone for giving you your life back?

For the longest time John and I were adversaries I guess you could say. I'm not sure how it started, or even why exactly, though I know it was at a time when Abby and I were first dating and things weren't going too well.

At the start, when Abby and I were together, she and John were simply friends, when things started to change it couldn't help but bleed into the relationship we had. Maybe I was jealous because I saw that he could give her a life I couldn't, or maybe it was just the relationship that seemed to exist between them. When we finally did break up, we both had our reasons, and where she used my continued love for my wife against me, I hurled her feelings toward Carter at her. I'd had enough, I told myself I was done with the games, I was done with the fights, I told her that Carter could have her. I didn't realize at the time what a mistake I was making and what that decision would cost me.

Over the next year and a half it seemed things only got worse, it wasn't just that I still held feelings for Abby, I know I did, but, I'd lost my best friend, and seeing her everyday with Carter, it became a nightmare for me. I began to hate Carter, and that hate started to change me, ultimately affecting how I did my job. I became someone I no longer recognized, and often someone I couldn't stand, and while it was easy to blame John, in truth I know I knew it wasn't his fault.

It's funny how time changes things, how things that once seemed so huge become insignificant. When I decided to go to the Congo my life was in ruins, I hardly recognized the person I'd become, and was to the point where if I had died, I was sure no one would even have noticed. I'd made my peace with Abby, and while things between us weren't perfect, we had at least become friends again. It took going to the Congo though for me to see just how much things had changed between John and I.

I'd worked in a war-zone before, I'd seen the devastation, the grief on the faces of parents as they held their bloodied children in their arms. I knew what it was like to work under the worst conditions you could imagine, with little to no sleep, but, you can't explain that to someone like Carter. The first time I saw him there, I knew he was shocked by the conditions, but, what was I supposed to say to him? It wasn't like it was going to get any better. It wasn't like he could buy a way to fix this. Then, after our encounter with the Mai Mai there was no doubt of he and the others leaving Matenda.

Saying good-bye, that day on the steps of the clinic, I think I knew it very well could be for the last time, but, I had my patients, and for the first time in far too long I felt like I was doing the right thing. I don't think any of us could have anticipated how much worse things would get, or the lives that would be lost in the process. More importantly, I never would have thought that John would endanger his own life to recover my body upon learning of my death.

My death. They thought I was dead, killed with so many others, Patrique among them. County had received the call, and for whatever reason ,John decided he had to come back back for me. He didn't have to, he didn't owe me anything, we weren't even friends, or so I thought, but, he put his own life in danger and he found us, Chance, her Mother, and I, in a filthy mud hut. I was barely clinging to life when he got there, in a day, maybe two I could well have been truly dead. Yet, there he was, and somehow, he convinced them to release us, and to this day I'll never know the how or why of it.

My relationship with John has never been the same since that day. I can now honestly say, he's my friend, and I owe him my life, and so much more, and I have no idea how I will ever repay him for all that he gave me when he gave me back my life.

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